Google Maps to Basecamp Tracks/Routes for Dummies

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by guavadude, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    First, I have a Zumo 660, and all what follows was done on it. YMMV.

    I continued my experiments and found a case resulting in turn-by-turn directions. Here is the short answer: have your GPS do the conversion of the track to route. :deal

    Here is the long story:
    In Google Maps create a track (along a road); save the map; download the kml file.

    Open BC; I am running 4.1.2. Create a new list; import the kml file into the list; it shows up as a track. Give it a good name. I called mine Google-Track.
    Double-click the track to open and view it; it contains a number of legs, each with a course (compass heading) and distance.
    Note that some legs are of zero length. In my case those were at intersections where the track turned right or left. My assumption is that if the heading change is "great enough" (>45 degrees?) then a zero length leg is created to adjust the heading.

    Select the track, right-click, choose Create Route from Selected Track. When BC finishes creating the route, rename it to show that it was created by BC (i.e. BC-Route).
    Double-click to open/view it; you will see a lislt of via Points, each named 'something' and a sequential number. You should have fewer via points in the route than legs in the track. What is missing? In my case it was all the zero-length legs. It was also many of the legs whose course (compass heading) change was less than 'some amount' such that BC could make a longer leg and still remain close to being on the road.

    Upload the track and the route to your GPS. I put them on my SD card so that I could repeat some of the tests I planned. If you do not have an SC card you will have to load them directly to your gps memory/storage and see if/how it is different.

    Now disconnect the GPS from the computer, power it on and wait until it discovers that it has new data. When it asks you if you want to import now, say No. Then do the following manually. (remember, this was on a Zumo 660).

    Go to Tools, My Data, Import Data.
    Choose Routes, then select BC-Route; it will be imported.
    Choose Off Road Tracks, then select Google-Track; it will be uploaded.
    Then choose Trip Logs and select the same Google-Track. You can let the GPS recalculate the route, or you can cancel it. You get two different things depending upon which you do.

    So here are the 4 cases:
    1. import BC created route
    2. import track as off-road track
    3. import track as route and recalculate
    4. import track as route and do not recalculate

    Let me talk about the off-road track first. It took me quite a while to figure out how to use it.
    First go to tools, manage trip logs, and select the track. I suggest you change the color so that it is obvious when you see it; I used orange. Then make sure that Show On Map is selected. Go back to the Home screen and select View Map. You should see the track. It is "just another map feature." You do not get any voice notifications or popups when you are on or near it. You just "follow it."

    Now what about the BC-Route? It shows up in Custom Routes; you can select it; you'll be told to drive to the beginning; it has flagged waypoints which appear to be the via points that you see when looking at the route in BC. At that point, at least on my Zumo, I got no more verbal notifications. As I followed the highlighted route, when I got within 20-30 yards of a flagged via point I got a popup on the Zumo saying "Approaching TestLoop-#" and I had to press OK to dismiss it (or ignore it and I think it went away when I passed the via point). I do not know if there is a setting to turn that off. I did not get anything verbal until I approached the last point - the end of the Route.

    What about the imported track with cancelled recalculation? It looked just like the BC-Route on the display, with flags at the via points. However, I got no popups at all as I approached the Via points.

    What about the imported track-to-route that was allowed to recalculate? Voila! It worked just as you want a route to work, with verbal notifications of turns followed by distance to travel. :clap Interestingly, when I re-attached my GPS to BC and 'opened' the route, there are just Begin and End via points.

    So, ....
    It seems to me that if you want turn-by-turn directions, you should upload the Google-Track to the gps and have it changed to a route there. At least if you have a Zumo 660!

    I'd love to hear that someone else could reproduce and validate the above. :ear
    -ceej
    #61
  2. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    HOT!

    I'll do the google-track on my 660 for a quick trip this weekend.

    Will report back.

    :freaky
    #62
  3. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Best I can tell, your tip worked.

    There was only one oddity, it tried to put me on a frontage road around a lake. I'm guessing it was just because the curve of the road/lake and the subsequent markers/waypoints.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    I hate this thing way less now. :D
    #63
  4. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    Gs1200ceej,

    Did you have to create a gpx file from the kml first or did you import the kml directly into BC?

    I had the same findings as you, overall. I just have the extra step of going to gpx2kml.com and creating the gpx then doing the import.
    #64
  5. guavadude

    guavadude de-composer

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    I can't find a way on the Montana to create a route from a track in the unit.
    Anyone know how? Might need to ask in the Montana thread.

    I never use routes and hadn't noticed the generic road prompts before.
    Good to see it worked out.
    #65
  6. guavadude

    guavadude de-composer

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    Looks like the Montanas can't do the track to route conversion on the unit. If you want voice prompt routes you might need to redraw the route in BC after you import the track.

    I'm aware you can just draw the track in BC to begin with but in Google maps I can see so much more than in BC. It's not even close in my opinion for initially designing great rides.
    #66
  7. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    The zumo 66x (including OEM units) are the only units that will convert a Track to a Route on the unit - if that route is allowed to be "recalculated" you will lose the intended path. On the Montana, you get the same navigational information when you navigate a Track.
    #67
  8. markflip

    markflip n00b

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    Hey Guys,
    Im new to the motorcycle GPS scene and just bought a Zumo 660. I was hoping there was some way of using google maps (which kicks ass) and transfer the maps to the zumo. I stumbled upon this post and have read all the way through it. Lots of good suggestions and it seems Im not the only one who hate base camp.
    I just got the thing so I tried to export the kml file and then used the gpx converter (kml2gpx.com) and I have not had good luck. It seams even a fairly short ride of about 60 miles makes like 1400 waypoints and then the zumo did not let me import it. What did I do wrong?
    Just to give it a fair shot, I tried to recreate the same route in base camp and what takes me 2 minutes in GM took me over an hour in BC. The waypoints were down to about 10 from 1400 and the route behaved like I would expect. The simple ability to zoom, pan, and pick route points in GM is what BC lacks and it makes it virtually impossible to create routes quickly.
    So this thread is quite long, do you still stand by the opening post statement that using the kml to gpx converter is the way to get GM into BC?
    Thanx!
    Mark
    #68
  9. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    Yes. The trick to that website is not clicking on the link after it is converted, but instead right click the link and choose to " save as..."

    When you save as, save it as a "gpx" file. By default its simply an xml file if I am not mistaken. Be sure to change the drop down in file types to "all files" when you are saving. Otherwise it will force it to a gpx I think.
    #69
  10. markflip

    markflip n00b

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    Awesome!
    Thanx for the quick response, Ill try it tonight and report back.
    Thanx!
    Mark
    #70
  11. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Sounds to me like you don't know how to use BaseCamp very well. Since BaseCamp does so much more than GM/GE you might want to read the Help/Tutorials before you compare. BaseCamp can import GE/GM KML files but routes are exported from GE/GM as tracks. That's why you had so many points. Just set the Track to Route filter in BaseCamp to a small number (5-10). Then select your track and use the "Create Route from Track" function.

    I do this on a regular basis and it works just fine.
    #71
  12. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    No reason to convert the .kml file. My BC version 4.1.2 will import the file directly.
    -ceej


    #72
  13. markflip

    markflip n00b

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    So i still get two answers here, do i have to use the kml to gpx converter or not? Im aware now that I may be converting the imported kml file to a route incorrectly (too many points) but is there an advantage to converting the kml file to gpx prior to importing it?

    :screwy:
    #73
  14. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    First, did you read my post? If you have BC Version 4.1.2 you can import the kml file directly into BC w/o the conversion process. *And* you can convert track to route on the Zumo.

    And even though I, too, like the convenience of Google maps, BC is not that hard once you spend the time to learn the navigation. Google maps is not designed to create 'routes'. Instead it creates 'tracks'. Tacks have *many points*; routes not so. Please don't take this the wrong way, but if your 60-mile route is so 'non direct' that it took you an hour to make, maybe you should break it up into pieces. Or maybe you need some intermediate points along the route.

    And BC does have at least some of the features you describe - you just need to learn them.

    -ceej

    #74
  15. markflip

    markflip n00b

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    Its pretty obvious I dont know BC that well <ul>yet</ul> but my first impression is that its clunky and creating routes in GM is way more efficient. Im not oppossed to using BC when I have to but I already dread the learning curve on this one. Im glad you guys have figured it out and are willing to share your knowledge.
    Thanx for your help!
    #75
  16. markflip

    markflip n00b

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    I did read your post but I also read the one just before it that said to use the gpx converter...
    #76
  17. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

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    No, there should be no advantage to doing the kml-to-gpx conversion. That is what BC does when it imports the kml file.
    I have not done this, but ....
    1. convert kml-gpx and import into BC.
    2. export the BC generated file as gpx.
    3. import the kml file directly
    4. export the BC generated file as gpx.
    5. compare the two newly exported gpx files.
    I bet they are the same, or at least functionally the same.
    -ceej

    #77
  18. guavadude

    guavadude de-composer

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    When I started this thread, I don't think BC was able to import the KML directly. I tried it last night and it appears to be the same as using gpx2KML.com so that's good.
    Unfortunately BC kept getting hung up when trying to convert a track to a route. I tried to filter the track points and it got hung again and I had to force quit.

    I can see using just BC for creating routes when it has terrain view, street view and aerial view and let's me email links so my family can see the routes. If you already know your route then yeah BC is fine. If you are creating a route and haven't already bought every map Garmin sells, then Google is the much better tool and its not even close.

    When viewing Adventures, even Garmin uses Google maps!
    #78
  19. TuonoBiker

    TuonoBiker Been here awhile

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    Very cool. One night this week I am going to try this as well. I was only converting the file since all the directions out there stated to do so! And it worked...

    Very cool if we can just download the KML from google and go straight to BC.
    #79
  20. markflip

    markflip n00b

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    Thanx!
    This is clear now, I have to give it a shot again.
    #80